I'm not sure how to use the following words correctly in finance.

Until now, I've used lend and borrow to represent acts that are relative to loans. Today, one of my friends told me that lend or borrow is not the correct way to speak about the money, but didn't recommend any other words to use. Can anybody point me in the right direction on this?

Moreover, I know the word repayment is the act of paying back money that I've borrowed, but don't know the word that represents people returning money that I've lent them.

  • 3
    'Lend' and 'borrow' are the correct way to speak about money (when a loan is made). I'd be very curious what alternatives your friend could ever come up with, and why he thinks those two are not supposed to be used with money.
    – Mitch
    Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 20:15
  • Yes, it's a very strange idea; the Commercial Transaction is the most common use for lend and borrow, and it involves -- indeed, it defines -- what money is. Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


Lend and borrow are fine for very nearly all cases (there may be specialised terms for corporate finance, although even there companies borrow money from banks which lend it).

You can make a repayment (as you mention), and someone can make a repayment to you: you can say "He's repaying the loan I made him; I've received a repayment from him." Just as the word loan is used for the money which changes hands when someone lends it, repayment is the sum of money which moves in the opposite direction.

However, while repay is obvious for make a repayment, having looked at a number of resources I can't find a one-word synonym for receiving a repayment. There are words which indicate forcing the repayment of the loan: foreclose and reclaim, for example; but the simple act of receiving a sum of money someone is repaying doesn't appear to have one. Receive isn't specific enough1.

1 The head of a Customs Office in the UK is called a Receiver, because it's his office which receives customs dues. Similarly the Metropolitan Police used to have a Receiver who was responsible for the funds received from central and local government.

  • I wonder whether the original statement wasn’t related to the tendency to use loan as a verb, particularly when money is involved.
    – tchrist
    Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 14:58

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